Seven Easy Steps To Cleaning Up The Inside Of Your Car

black and white dog leaning into backseat of messy car
Your dog may not mind a messy car, but your friends might!

Has the inside of your car become a dumping ground for old receipts, empty water bottles, candy wrappers and random pieces of clothing? It happens easily enough, we bring the things we need on a road-trip into the car, but somehow they never make their way out again.

It’s embarrassing when you give a friend a ride and first you need to toss the trash that’s accumulated in the passenger side into the back seat.

Use this simple guide to get your car cleaned up & soon you will be driving in style once again.

woman with her feet up in the car after cleaning the interior
Driving in a sparkling clean car makes for a happy driver.

Supplies you will need:

  • 3 Plastic bags (one each for keepers, trash, & recycling)
  • Handheld vacuum cleaner
  • Lint Roller or Masking Tape
  • Paper Towels
  • Windex
  • Leather or All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Small Dash Organizer
  • Larger Trunk Organizer

Step by Step Car Cleaning Tips

OK – Now it’s time to grab that iPhone, plug in your headphones to an upbeat station & get to cleaning.

Step 1: Remove all trash items first. This makes it easier to see what you actually have. Place these in one of the plastic bags.

Step 2: Find the out of place items. The second sweep of the car should be for things that belong in the house, such as receipts to file, extra shoes, jackets, and supplies. Collect these into the second bag and set them aside.

Step 3: Find a place for everything. The final sweep will be to identify & collect all the things that make sense to keep in your vehicle. These will be organized into 2 piles.

Pile 1: Place the items you need near you like a comb, coins, lip moisturizer, and tissues in the small dash organizer.

small dash organizer with phone, water and snacks
A small organizer like this one is perfect to organize the little items.

Pile 2: Identify the larger items that will be kept in the car, but aren’t needed on a daily basis. This includes items such as Cleaning supplies, windshield wiper fluid, extra towels, water bottles, and emergency gear. Place all of these things in your larger car organizer in the back seat or cargo area.

Step 4: Time to vacuum. This is one of the fastest ways to make your car look clean. You’d be surprised how big of an improvement this makes in your car interior’s appearance. If you notice stains on the carpet after vacuuming, try using a little window cleaner to lift the stain. Spray the area and let it sit for 5 minutes, then blot the stain with a clean cloth.

Step 5. Roll it up. Sometimes the vacuum doesn’t pick up everything, such as pet hair – especially if you have a very furry dog. Use the lint roller & go over the floors and back cargo area. Masking tape or even duct tape works even better depending on the state of your vehicle.

To remove pet hair in larger surfaces like the backseat or hatch, try this cleaning hack from Mom4Reel. She recommends using a squeegee to pull up the pet hair. First, gently mist the overall area with water. Then drag the squeegee across the upholstery surface. The pet hair should come right up!

cleaning the car interior with a cloth

Step 6. Wipe down the interior. Using paper towels or a clean cloth, wipe down the dash, car seats and other interior surfaces.

Step 7. Clean the windows. The inside of your windows can get pretty messy, especially from little fingers and wet noses. Give them all good cleaning, including the windshield.

pretty woman sitting on car

And that’s it. If done on a regular basis it should take more than 20-30 minutes to bring your car back to a neat and orderly state. Happy Driving!